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De La Salle- College of Saint Benilde

Philippine Governance and Development


“Seminar on Rights Based Approach on Village Governance”


Rapporteur: Sheillyn Q. Pingol

Loretta Rosales

The documentation of the proceedings of the “Seminar on Rights Based Approach on Village

Governance” is divided into four sections; namely, (1) the opening remarks, (2) the “Anti Drugs

Program” by Atty. Sikini Labastilla, (3) “Human Rights in the Philippines” by Prof. Loretta

Rosales and the (4) open forum with the barangay representatives. With this, this document

provides a summary for the said seminar which consists of excerpts from the presentations, written

content of the subject matter, questions from the barangay representatives as well as the

corresponding answers to the said questions. This culminating activity of the LE1 Philippine

Governance and Development class of Prof. Rosales presented an in-depth analysis of the concept

of human rights in terms of village governance in order to assess the role of governance, human

rights and community based programs in such areas of the local government.

Opening Remarks

The Chairperson of the School of Diplomacy and Governance (SDG), Gary Ador Dionisio,

discussed the outreach program of the SDG to welcome the barangay representatives. First,

Dionisio categorized the focus of program into three distinct sections; (1) the vision statement of

a just and humane society through innovations; (2) the mandate of the School of Diplomacy and

Governance which is to share the expertise of the members of the academe to the partner

barangays; (3) the “town and down” approach through the Center for Social Action (CSA).

Dionisio discussed the significance of the seminar, mentioning the celebration of the National

Human Rights Day which is scheduled the next day and stating that “One of the most challenging
issues in the country [is the human rights issue] because of reports of human rights violations.”. It

was also mentioned that the culminating activity for the Philippine Governance and Development

class of Prof. Loretta “Etta” Rosales is a chance for a dialogue between students and

representatives of barangays. By 9:33 am, the first speaker, Atty. Sikini Labastilla was introduced

by Prof. Etta Rosales as the City Anti Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) chairman of Caloocan.

“Anti Drugs Program”

The focal point of the presentation by Atty. Labastilla is the “Anti-Drugs Program”; with this, he

stated that the presentation was an extended version of a presentation for City Anti Drug Abuse

Council (CADAC) to be held on December 15, 2017. Before the start of the presentation, the

barangay representatives who were invited to attend the seminar were first recognized by the body;

namely, the barangays 751, 746, 753, 43, 36, 42, 752. With this, Atty. Labastilla proceeded with

the discussion, starting with a few photographs taken by Raffy Lerma to provide a brief

background on the state of the human rights abuses in the “War on Drugs” as well as the

extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. Labastilla also commended the work of Patricia

Evangelista in terms of her articles regarding the said issues. A picture taken by Raffy Lerma,

previously from Philippine Daily Inquirer, was used as the first slide of Labastilla’s presentation,

followed by another image pertaining to the death of Kian Delos Santos. As such, Labastilla

proceeded with the discussion about Fr. Luciano Felloni of the Our Lady of Lourdes parish in

Camarin, Caloocan. According to Labastilla,

I met him [in] August 2016. He’s assigned to a parish called “Our Lady of Lourdes parish”

in Camarin, parang nabahala narin siya sa sobrang dami na yung namamatay; nine a week,
two a day. Then, may namatay na bata sa harap ng barangay niya so he said, “enough is

enough, I had to do something” so he reached out to the mayor of Caloocan, si Mayor

Malapitan, then the mayor called me; so, he and I, we started this program.

Labastilla then discussed how he started the community-based rehab with Fr. Felloni. The

community based rehab started when a young couple by the name Karen and Oliver approached

Fr. Felloni regarding an encounter with the police, the day before, who stated to the couple that

“kung hindi kayo magpapa-rehab bukas, mamamatay kayo."

Labastilla then stated how he provided a solution to the said problem;

Somebody asked me if we can do something; ang sinabi ko kaagad ay yung community

based rehab. Sabi ko, sige magbasa-basa muna tayo. So in-appoint ako muna ni mayor ng

action officer muna ng CADAC. So that’s what we did, instead of learning [na] kami kami

lang, gusto ko lahat agad tayo sabay sabay tayo matuto. So we set up a three-day program

given to all the barangays of Caloocan; barangay captain, secretary, treasurer, chairman of

peace and order at yung chairman of health and we called it the CAROTTS or the

Community-Assisted Rehab and Recovery Out-patient Training System.

In the CAROTTS program, speakers from PDEA, PNP, DILG discussed their area of expertise in

the duration of the said program. Labastilla shared that the third day of the program was a crucial

part wherein the participants were expected to be facilitators of the said program. He then

proceeded to discuss the organizational structure of the CAROTTS program;

I have three action officers for enforcement, for rehab and for education and prevention.

The idea is to set up a community rehab fund where there is a full time psychologist, a full

time house parent. So this is how it works [in Caloocan]; we have the CADAC, then the

church, then the BADACs (Barangay Anti Drug Abuse Council), so these are the three
main players in the community based rehab programs. We will discuss why it is important

to be part of the BADAC.

The first part of the community based program involves an orientation and a screening process

wherein the barangay officials categorize drug users into three levels; low, moderate and severe.

The drug users in level one are considered to be experimental drugs users; the ones in the second

level are the occasional users while the third level is for the drug users who need in-patient type

of treatment. The orientation gives a chance for the drug users in the watch list to surrender, then

undergo the screening process under psychiatrists, psychologist and physicians to determine the

level of drug use. Labastilla mentioned the former Secretary of the Dangerous Drugs Board Benjie

Reyes and clarified that Pres. Duterte misinterpreted the statement by Reyes regarding the 1.8

million active drug users. In discussing the screening and orientation process, Labastilla showed

pictures taken by Raffy Lerma of the actual process wherein there is a drug test kit which indicates

whether or not the person uses [illicit] drugs. With this, he stated that the Department of Health

(DOH) has actually confirmed from United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as well

as the World Health Organization (WHO) that 9 out of 10 drug addiction cases belong to out-

patient treatment, indicating that only 10% need in-patient treatment, which necessitates the

screening process, to ensure the appropriate level of treatment to be provided to the drug users. In

connection with this, Labastilla discussed the other screening tools used in the community based

program such as the psychological process which involves an interview; due to the division of the

level of drug use, however, there is a difference between the treatment plan of the different drug

users; specifically, “an individual treatment plan”. Under the treatment process, there are group

therapy sessions; for example, music therapy, drug education, counselling and community service.

They educate the drug users in order to eliminate the stigma regarding drug use in order for them
to accommodate other drug users through the program. This was cited by Atty. Labastilla to be

one of the key components of the program. Then, the presentation included a picture of a hand-

written letter addressed to “Honey”. This letter was later revealed by Labastilla to be addressed to

a drug user’s addiction to illicit drugs, specifically shabu, and how this person is concluding his

relation with the drug use. This particular activity, the writing of farewell messages to drug

addiction, is done at at the end of the program wherein the participants will “graduate”. Labastilla

stated that there are approximately 200 letters like the one in the presentation submitted to him in

the program. However, he stated that there are former participants who undergo “relapse”. With

this, Labastilla discussed the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which the CAROTTS use in

order to curb the instance of relapse. One of the problems he cited with the CBT is the fact that it

is still being translated into Tagalog. The church, in this context, provide the venue which is the

diocese of Caloocan; the church also provides food, volunteers as well as the spiritual and

livelihood aspect of the program. Local government units (LGU) provide assistance in terms of

the recollection and excursion activities as well as the transportation to health facilities. The most

important contribution of LGUs, according to Labastilla, is the hiring of psychologists, due to the

fact that Caloocan is the only city in the Philippines to hire psychologists in their community based

rehabilitation program. The ultimate goal of the said programs is for the persons in the watch list

to be removed. Labastilla discusses how his CBT program is helping other communities, citing Fr.

Bobby Dela Cruz from San Roque parish as an example. Labastilla discussed his group, the

Community Based Rehab Alliance (CoBRA); the rehab consists of an aftercare in the duration of

four months wherein they continue livelihood and education.

When they graduate, they engage in employment from the factories of the cities, kasi

certified dumaan sa CAROTTS. The duration of the road to recovery usually [takes] 10
months. There are a few business ideas floating around sa kanila, so we will finance those

ideas. [Such as] candle making, lahat ng kandila from diocese of Caloocan will be sourced

from the [program].

With this, the discussion segued into the subject of the film “Bunso”, an independent film

recommended to Labastilla by a friend in the Center for Social Action. The movie is about the jail

situation in Cebu, particularly the youngest person in the said facility. Labastilla moved into

discussing the difference between a “child at risk” and a “child in conflict with the law”. The

concept of child at risk and child in conflict with the law is addressed through the Republic Act


Then, diversion. Ito po yung graph, 15 years or younger, and above 15 to 18. Pag walang

discernment, pupunta siya dun sa intervention. Then intervention and diversion. There are

intervention programs and diversion programs. We can find more ways to fund the

program. The law has to be changed and the law is being change. For first time, rehab,

second, four or six years. So I suggest you review your program and find ways for your

BCPC, kahit drug centers lang muna. Just call it a diversion program.

Atty. Labastilla ended the discussion with the following statement;

I really wish everyone would stop being a bystander. Sana po ito yung advocacy natin

ngayon, suportahan sila, wag parusahan. Kailangan nila ng tulong. On that note, I will end

my presentation. Similarly, some barangays also provide food for the CAROTTS program.
“Human Rights in the Philippines”

The second speaker is Prof. Loretta Rosales, the former commissioner of the Commission on

Former commissioner on human rights, Prof. Rosales. discussed first the perception of human

rights in the Philippines, particularly;

Madalas marinig natin na abstract yan, you can’t eat human rights. People are concerned

about food, basic needs; wala silang concern sa human rights. Sa west lamang yan, it’s a

western concept, we cannot mechanically impose their experiences to the diverse cultures

of Asia. Lagi nalang ang pulis; lagi nalang ang military. Bakit yung bang pulis at military

wala ba silang karapatang pang tao? Bakit yung mga terorista nay an, wala silang human

rights violations? Naririnig ba natin yung mga ganong tanong? Hindi naman siya abstract,

it’s the most natural thing in the world. Being human entitles every human being to human


Rosales talked about inclusivity in the concept of human rights in the Philippines, relating human

rights to encompass rights of children as well as the rights of drug users. Then, Rosales identified

the evolution of human rights in an international scale.

The earliest concepts of human rights evolved before the common era, from India, the

Vedas. They deliver the message to the people, to Christian that will be Jesus Christ. The

code of Hammurabi, of ancient Mesopotamia, way back in 1754 D.C., even as early as that,

they were already talking about evidence, they were talking about human rights long before

Jesus Christ was born.

The principle of proportionality, the Cyrus cylinder, the Golden rule and the Bible were cited as

early human rights concepts from the East. Professor Rosales talked about the Aztecs as well as
the Iroquois wherein in the context of the American Revolution, the Iroquois were even more

organized than the Americans in terms of the formation of the government, in the thirteen colonies.

Rosales mentioned the Magna Carta of 1215 wherein the concept of the rule of law is based upon

such as due process and basic freedom, along with the Petition of Rights, The Constitution of the

United States (1787) and the Bill of Rights (1791). With this, the discussion moved into the topic

of World War I and World War II, particularly regarding the casualties as well as the causal effect

of the Treaty of Versailles to the Second World War. Core international human rights instruments

was also discussed; there are currently 8 out of 9 of the core international human rights conventions

that the Philippines has ratified. The only convention that the Philippines has not ratified is the

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced

Disappearance(ICPPED), however the Philippines has a statutory law regarding this. With this,

Prof. Rosales moved into a discussion of her experience in the EDSA revolution. At that time,

Rosales stated that the people realized that Marcos was no longer the solution to the problem of

the people; that Marcos, without the United States of America, was nothing. By then, she told us

that the military heeded the voice of the people. Specifically;

Yan po ang kakatandaan natin sa kasaysayan. Kaya nakita ng military, kumampi na sila sa

mga tao. That was Fidel Ramos, he was the head. After the EDSA revolution, nung natapos

na siya, ginawa na yung 1987 constitution, napaka-yaman sa human rights. Ginagalang ang

ating mga karapatan at tuntunin.

Rosales talked about the relation of such concepts with the current state of the human rights in the


Si Pres. Duterte, hindi siya mahilig sa human rights. Hindi niya gusto si Chito Gascon,

pero patuloy lamang si Gascon sa CHR. Napaka-gandang nangyari yung naging 1000 lang
yung budget ng CHR na nagalit yung mga tao. Ang tao ay kinilala na nila na hindi basta

basta papaya na matatanggal ang Human Rights. Batas yan, constitutional law yan.

With this, Rosales discussed the relevant laws in the Philippines, emphasizing the Republic Act

9346 or the Abolition of Death Penalty Law since she is an author of the said law. She reiterated

how the human rights claims board has changed the human rights situation in the Philippines. With

this, Rosales explained that the CHR still needs to investigate the claims submitted to the human

rights claims board. In relation to this, Rosales talked about the rights of the accused; that the

wardens are supposed to protect the accused, instead of killing them.

We have to amend, yung basta may hawak kang droga, it criminalizes drug use, dapat

idecriminalize yung drug use. Ginawa yan ni vice president, na hindi dapat crime yung

drug use. Kung nakapatay ka hindi dapat sa drug use, dahil dapat sa nakapatay ka.

The discussion moved into another important law in relation to human rights in the Philippines;

the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act and its relation to the NPA, stating that;

Ito yung indigenous peoples rights act, merong mga NPA na tutubo. So totoo yan e, dahil

nag usap kami sa mga military, 70% percent of theNPAs are katutubo, naisolate na yung

mga NPAs pero kapit sa patalim parin ang mga katutubo, dahil makasaysayan ang

negligence sa mga KAtutubo, pero sa cordilleras organized sila. Natatawag silang NPA

kasi indigenous sila. Mahalaga para satin nag iisip tayo. Wag tayo magco-condemn, kasi

kailangan nila ng seguridad, basic needs, kaya nasasama sila sa NPA. Despite all these

human rights and social justice laws, poverty threshold is at 21.6% in the Philippines. Ang

tindi parin kasi hindi napapatupad kahit merong social justice laws.
With this, Rosales talked about the peace process in Mindanao, wherein the barangay captains and

mayor of Mamasapano wanted peace in the region yet they are scared of fighting for peace. This

type of fear is also evident in the last part of the discussion, the “War on Drugs”;

Hindi ito war on drugs. Ang giyera labanan ng dalawang armado; isa lang armado dito,

yung gobyerno, yung mga pinapatay, hindi armado. Hindi siya dapat tawaging war on

drugs. It is a misnomer. [Secondly], collateral damage, yung mga namamatay, it is a

military term, you do not use the term to talk about human beings.

Open Forum

Question 1: Bakit gustong buwagin ni Speaker Alvarez yung Human Rights?

Rosales: Actually, people would normally say Alvarez would not move, he is motivated from

behind. During my time, hindi naman niya gustong ibaba, hindi naman siya ganon kagalit sa human

rights. Ang claim nila ganito, ang argument nila, because the CHR masyadong selective justice,

ang gusto lamang ng CHR, yung mga criminal may human rights police wala. They had to explain

that the role of CHR is to investigate. What sector of the government is the primary responsible to

investigate crimes? SOCO? Ano yung SOCO? Police. Police and primary responsible. I signed

nung CHR [commissioner] ako 2014, pulis ang dapat nag iinvestigate pag crimes of rape, patayan.

Yung CHR trabaho niya tiyakin na yung pulis nag iimbestiga, na si prosecutor ginagawa yung

trabaho niya at hindi siya corrupt na yung congress at korte, so agents of the state. The role of the

CHR is to protect the people by ensuring that the agents of the state, ginagawa nila at hindi sila

nagccommit ng human righst violations. If this is the case, the CHR will investigate the mayor,
the baranggay. When Duterte was mayor, the ombudsman did not pursue further investigation but

that needs further investigation [regarding] the policy, pag nanalo ka sa election, burado na ang

iyong mga kaso. So that is my role as CHR, I had the resolution and the resolution is on the

ombudsman and Duterte knows that because I gave him a copy of my resolution.

Labastilla: I’m aware of our president’s drug on war but right now I’m very much confused or

not in favor of these extra judicial killings especially those who are young enough so sana wag na

ipagpatuloy ang “War on Drugs”.I agree with you, lets always say, we are with the president with

respect to solving the drug problem, tama naman siya it’s a problem pero, yung pamamaraan yung

dapat baguhin. Thank you po sa sinabi niyo. These are very important venues kasi dito nanggaling

yung reaction from the ground and hindi ito kayang itago ng media na hired ng Malacañang. Ang

ganito usapin ay naka record. And we will record these discussions so that the Malacanang will

hear about your concerns.

Question 2: Maraming problema sa aming mga barangay. Ayokong mag-drop ng names, so

far, even sa DILG, na-express ko na po itong aking problema kaya po gusto ko po talaga

umattend ng ganitong mga seminars ng Benilde.

Labastilla: Kaya minention ko po kanina yung diversion, alam naman po natin wala po kayo

pinapagawa ng mga watchlist, alam ko po marami sila hindi nilalagay dun kasi the other day, sabi

nung isang kapitan, bakit daw lagay ng lagay sa watchlist, yung iba naman daw pinapatay? May

usapan nalang kami since hindi naman hahanapin ng PDEA yung pangalan niyo. There is a

difference of what we know to be right and what DILG is telling us to do. May isang kapitan
kahapon, meron siyang project sa north, mga infrastructure, pero ang hina-hire niya mga drug user

para mabigyan ng trabaho. Sinasabi niya pag may trabaho hindi na ilalagay sa watch list.

By 12:13, the awarding of certificates for the participants commenced until 12:15, thus concluding

the Rights Based Approach on Village Governance seminar.